Loading articles...

Russian student cries foul after denied visa to attend conference in Canada

The Embassy of the Russian Federation to Canada in Ottawa is seen on Monday, March 26, 2018. A student from Russia who was invited to present her research at an upcoming academic conference in Canada says she believes her visitor visa was unfairly rejected — an issue scholars say is a growing problem for academics from certain areas of the world trying attend conferences in Canada. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Justin Tang

OTTAWA — A Russian student who was invited to present her research at an upcoming academic conference in Canada says she believes her visa was unfairly rejected.

Marina Dubova was all set to travel to Canada for a cognitive science conference in Montreal next month, but was recently informed that officials rejected her application for a visitors visa.

Canadian officials indicated they were unconvinced she would return to Russia at the end of her visit because she has no children, owns no property and has limited employment.

Scholars say her experience is not an isolated one.

University of Toronto associate professor Ed Schatz says he has seen visiting academics rejected for visas, which in turn acts as a deterrent for conference organizers trying to ensure a diversity of voices.

The Immigration Department says decisions about visas are made on a case-by-case basis and if an applicant is refused, it is because they do not meet requirements.

The Canadian Press